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Selling Security As An Accessory

Mobile protection can add much-needed margin to smartphones and tablets

February 26, 2013 By Jeff O’Heir

Consumer electronics retailers typically include a case with about 65 percent of the smartphones and tablets they sell and SD cards withabout 60 percent. But they are adding a software security solution to less than 10 percent of mobile devices. Not only is that a disservice to the consumer, it also means a lot of margin is left on the table.

“Most consumers buy a case, but the data in the device is more valuable than the device itself,” said Greg Boyle, Trend Micro’s senior product marketing manager for consumer mobility. “Retailers are looking for ways to attach high-profit margins to tablets and smartphones because margins on those are slim. Security is one way to do that.”

Trend Micro and McAfee have rolled out new products and upgrades at Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona that could help retailers expand their accessory sales and generate some much-needed margin.

Several of Trend Micro’s retail partners, for example, have come up with some unique ways to make security easier to sell.

FNAC, a CE retailer based in France, has created a FNAC Tablet Pack that includes several security products, while Sony in India has been adding security solutions to SD cards. Retailers should merchandise security the same way they do other accessories, by positioning them next to the core device. “If (the security product) is sitting in the software section, it doesn’t sell,” Boyle said. “Education is critical for selling security because consumers really don’t understand it. Retailers are in the a unique position to educate the end user.”

Trend Micro has plenty of training and education material - aimed at retail sales associates and end users – around its new Mobile Security 3.0 for Android devices, Boyle said.  It retails for $29.99 for a one-year license and $49.99 for two years. Retailers can make additional margin by selling the product’s new back-up solution, which retails for $20. Other features include Facebook protection and faster malware scanning.

Additional security on mobile devices grows more critical each day, Boyle said, adding that Android devices last year carried 350,000 apps that included malware, up from just 1,000 in 2011. That number will hit onemillion by next year, Boyle said.

Although Facebook recently upgraded its security settings, more than one-third of users don’t know about them, never change them, or share all of their information with everyone, Boyle said. That exposes them to high privacy violations. Trend Micro’s new Privacy Scanner provides an extra later of protection for personal information on the site.
The Mobile Backup and Restore feature provides automatic backup of contacts, pictures, videos, music, text messages, call history and calendar entries to Trend Micro’s secure cloud.

“You have to protect these devices because a screen saver and case can’t do it,” Boyle said.

McAfee recently updated its mobile security suite and released its All Access 2013 edition ($99) that provides protection across PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets. Its Mobile Security ($29.99) protects against device loss, viruses and web threats on Android devices.“

Phones and tablets are a consumer’s most powerful computing device an they carry most of a consumer’s personal data, yet 30 percent don’t even use a password,” said Lianne Caetan, McAfee’s director of product marketing, mobile solutions.


 

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